News from The Cartersville Courant

The Cartersville Courant
Cartersville, Georgia
February 26, 1885, Page 2
Transcribed by:  

An Old Trunk.

We have in our possession a little hair trunk which has a history.  In shape it is nearly round, about two feet long and eight inches high, with an iron ring on each end to fasten on the back part of a saddle.

The writer’s father purchased it in the year 1813.  The federal government in that year called for a levy of Georgia troops.  Oglethorpe county furnished a company of volunteers.  The officers of that company were: ___ Owen, Captain; John Felton, 1st lieutenant; Burwell Pope, 3rd lieutenant.  They went directly into service and the entire Georgia force of 3,500 men under command of Gen. John Floyd, were ordered to rendezvous at Fort Hawkins, near where the city of Macon is now built.

This little trunk was there – in the midst of these brave young Georgians.  Capt. Owen soon sickened and died and the owner of the trunk became captain of the company.  It next took a trip – in the unbroken wilderness from the Ocmulgee to the Chattahoochee, some miles below Columbus –where Gen. Floyd’s troops built Fort Mitchell.  Gen. Floyd ordered a detachment of sixteen hundred men to move on an Indian town.  They camped at night, of the 26th of January, 1814, near a small creek and swamp called Challibbee, without breastworks, and with great pine knots blazing in the depths of a dense pine forest.

An hour and a half before day they were roused by the war-whoops of 3,000 Indians –arrows, bullets, tomahawks flew around these gallant young Georgians – and many of them awoke, in a few moments to sleep again forever.  The little trunk was on hand, in the midst of the bloodiest battles of the campaign –which tested the courage and endurance of that brave little army of militiamen.

The little trunk was there, when Gen. Floyd dashed bravely to the front, his white charger a clear target for the dusky foe.  It was near when gallant Captain Samuel Butts fell, shot through the heart, dead.

Jett Thomas commanded the single cannon in the fight.  Every man around the gun was either killed or wounded, and he had it loaded and fired it himself before help reached him –the Indians at that moment almost touching the muzzle of the gun.  Daybreak witnessed the flight of the enemy and the shots of the pursuers.

This little old trunk followed these Oglethorpe boys everywhere, messed with them, slept with them and traveled with them for six months, during Floyd’s campaign.  It held in its diminutive space all the clothing its owner did not wear, his razor and soap, his ink and paper, and everything he was obliged to have for his personal comfort alone.  It is lined with a paper printed in New York City, dated November 14th, 1812, and the newspaper was called “The War.”  The print is as clear today as then, and one place we find the sailing of the Constitution and Hornet in command of Commodore Bainbridge, as a news item. – W. H. F. [I believe the author is Dr. W. H. Felton, who was editor of The Courant, along with his wife.—L. B.]


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